Can truck drivers use CBD? The answer is legally and medically complicated, but we break down 4 things you need to know about CBD and trucking. Products containing CBD have become exceedingly popular and readily available at truck stops and convenience stores across the country. CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. CBD may contain the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s the main psychoactive component in marijuana that gives users a high.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD? 4 Things to Know
Many truck drivers have been turning to products like CBD oils and lotions for relief from pains and aches that come from the job. There has been a growth in popularity of medicinal and recreational marijuana-related products, even though the legal waters are a bit murky. This can be especially concerning for truck drivers since they are used to thinking about drug screenings and the new Clearinghouse regulations. If that weren’t enough, many trucking carriers may prohibit the use of such products. In a recent poll by Drive My Way, all drivers indicated their carriers don’t allow them to use CBD products. So, you’ve probably been wondering “can truck drivers use CBD?” The answer isn’t so simple, so we’ll break it down for you.
Here are 4 things you need to know about CBD and trucking.
1. CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA yet
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. There are over 113 such compounds in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychoactive agent in marijuana that is responsible for producing the sense of euphoria or the high. It is also measured in drug tests and leads to a positive result if detected.
CBD itself is a non-psychoactive compound—it won’t make you feel high, anxious, or bring redness to your eyes.
CBD is being researched and used for a variety of different medical purposes, and is said to help relieve anxiety, muscle and joint pain, depression, migraines, and other ailments common to truck drivers. Despite these claims of health benefits, CBD products haven’t been regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is no consensus in the medical or regulatory community about the effects of CBD on the body. Science and the law haven’t made up their minds about it yet. So, it remains a grey area—it may help you relieve pain, or it may not, but it definitely won’t get you high.
2. CBD may cause individuals to test positive on a drug screening
There are many CBD derived products that are available for use on the market. For example, CBD oil is made by extracting the compound from either hemp or marijuana plants. These products of course contain CBD, but also many other ingredients, including trace amounts of THC. Remember that’s the one that gets you high. Most states require that commercial CBD derived products contain less than 0.3% THC. That’s such a small amount that it’s not going to have any psychoactive effect on your body or get you high. But even these traces could be detected on a drug test!
Some CBD products claim to be “THC-free”, but it’s not clear whether this is the case. People purchasing CDB products cannot be sure the claims of ‘THC-free’ are indeed valid and that they will not test positive on drug tests.
In fact, many CBD products companies will state disclaimers like “We cannot make any claims on whether or not any of our products will show up on a drug test. We are not legally able to make any recommendations or guarantees regarding drug tests on THC free or Full Spectrum products.”
This just goes to show that even though you hear a brand has “zero THC”, there will always be trace amounts that can be detected. In general, CBD lotions tend to have less THC than oils, but even these cannot guarantee the complete absence of THC.
3. State laws differ on CBD products
It’s important to remember that marijuana use is still illegal in most of the country. State laws differ on these matters. As previously indicated, most states require that commercial CBD derived products contain less than 0.3% THC. In a few other states like Nebraska, South Dakota, and Idaho, the use of marijuana in all forms is illegal.
At the federal level, all kinds of marijuana products are still illegal. This means if you are drug tested using the Federal drug testing panel and use marijuana, it will be reported out as a positive drug test.
The recent Clearinghouse regulations mean that this test result data will be available to other employers in the trucking industry. This makes CBD product use very risky for truck drivers. Aside from the laws, drivers have to consider whether their carriers will allow the use of CBD products. Our own poll of drivers shows that all of them said their carriers prohibit CBD product use!
4. Bottom line for truck drivers
So, what’s the bottom line for people wondering “can truck drivers use CBD?” Using CBD products can be dangerous to a truck driver’s career. If a positive result shows up on a drug test, this can stay on your record for good.
Worse yet, the drug tests cannot differentiate THC that came from CBD products and THC that came from ingesting marijuana.
Since manufacturers can’t guarantee a THC-free product, and since these products aren’t well regulated yet, it can be risky for truck drivers to use them.
CBD lotions may be a better option than CBD oil, but even these can’t guarantee no trace amounts of THC. For those truck drivers hoping for pain relief, they may want to look elsewhere. The benefits of CBD aren’t agreed upon, or even well documented. Truck drivers will have to decide whether the potential benefits exceed the risks.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD?
In some states its legal; in other states its not: Marijuana. But the baby brother, CBD, is pretty much available most everywhere.
Products containing CBD have become exceedingly popular and readily available at truck stops and convenience stores across the country.
CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. CBD may contain the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s the main psychoactive component in marijuana that gives users a high.
CBD is frequently sold in oil, cream, lotion, gummy, or pill form. It’s said to help a number of medical maladies, such as epileptic seizures, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, depression, and migraines.
These products are legal under federal law in the U.S., so truck drivers can use them. However, CBD products can pose a risk to motor carriers and semi truck drivers who are subject to federal drug testing requirements.
Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Safely?
Yes, in most instances, and in most states (see Georgia’s requirements below). CBD oil is believed to be safe to use, and even if you buy a full-spectrum CBD product that contains trace amounts of THC, it shouldn’t have an intoxicating effect when you use it. (Remember, we are a Georgia personal injury law firm we are not doctors so don’t rely on us to make your CBD purchasing decisions!)
However, some CBD users say they experience side-effects like drowsiness or sleepiness. Truck drivers who have similar experiences shouldn’t operate a tractor-trailer while uses these products. If a trucker uses CBD and becomes drowsy or inattentive to the road, this may play a part in a motor vehicle accident—similar to driving under the influence. And it may be evidence of negligence.
Semi Drivers Must Comply with Federal Drug Testing Regulations
Semi drivers must comply with federal drug testing regulations. In fact, the Department of Transportation (DOT) states that any product, including “Cannabidiol” (CBD) products, with a concentration of more than 0.3 percent THC is classified as marijuana, a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Motor carriers and big rig drivers should also note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products. As a result, a CBD product label may not accurately reflect the amount of THC that’s in the product. This means that even if a product says it’s 100% free of THC, it may still have THC in it. This puts truck drivers at risk of testing positive for marijuana if they knowingly or unknowingly use a mislabeled CBD product. They also may experience side effects that affect their driving ability. Having a good trustworthy Atlanta accident lawyer who knows the rules is so important in any truck accident case.
Will CBD Result in a Positive for THC in a Drug Test?
DOT drug tests test for marijuana, not CBD. So if a semi driver uses a CBD product with more than 0.3 percent THC, he or she will test positive for marijuana, and the federal regulations prohibit the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. In addition, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result.
Thus, even when a tractor-trailer driver says he or she has used only CBD, a Medical Review Officer will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate limits as positive. The driver’s positive result is then reported to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
How Does the State of Georgia Regulate CBD Products?
Georgia allows only CBD and low THC products, but there are some qualifications. In Georgia, an individual may legally possess cannabis-derived CBD oil containing not more than 5% THC. Plus, they must have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and have a registration card. This card shows that the person is registered in the state’s Low THC Oil Registry.
A truck driver or any other person in Georgia is required to consult with a doctor and be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition to use CBD. The diseases and conditions that qualify include cancer, seizures or epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, intractable pain, and others. So you can see that the state’s requirements severely limit the use of CBD and low THC products in Georgia.
Remember that truck drivers must pass a physical examination, and those with disqualifying conditions should not be on the road. Again, Georgia law significantly restricts the use of CBD and low THC products. If a trucking company fails to address a driver’s medical condition, doesn’t monitor the driver’s health, or allows the illegal use of CBD, the trucking company may be liable in a serious accident.
Contact Tobin Injury Law
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi accident, you should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney Atlanta residents have come to for help. Our team understands state and federal commercial carrier laws and we have represented hundreds of auto drivers and motorcyclists who have been hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver. We will investigate the driver’s condition to determine if he or she had a serious health issue that contributed to your accident. This may include the use of CBD.
Before you speak with a claims adjuster from an insurance company, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Tobin Injury Law.